Start Farming Blog
Organic fruit growing in the Mid-Atlantic Region can be successful and profitable with careful study and planning. There are natural features in the Mid-Atlantic region that offer nearly ideal conditions for growing high quality organic fruit. Also, the market in this area for locally grown organic fruit far exceeds the current production capacity of existing organic fruit farms.
Disease management begins with the fundamental understanding the three factors must be present and interact for disease to develop. These include: 1) a susceptible host crop; 2) the pathogen and 3) an environment that is favorable for the pathogen. This concept is called the disease triangle and all disease management practices can be related back to breaking/disrupting one or more of these interactions.
Penn State Extension is hosting a day-long program on the science of produce handling and the art of produce marketing. This workshop is appropriate for new employee training and as a refresher for existing employees. The Retail Farm Market School will be held at Yoder's Restaurant and Buffet, New Holland, on Wednesday, March 11 from 9:30 to 3.
Many times when we introduce our products to the marketplace, we don't always think about how our potential customers will view the product. We may know how special our new product is, but how do we get that information to our customers?
Appropriate job descriptions communicate the image of a well-managed business and can be useful in a very competitive labor market.
Record keeping templates designed by the Farmers Legal Action Group.
Producing the highest quality hay is a goal that every farmer should have. Whether you are feeding hay to your own animals or marketing your hay to others, quality is of the highest importance. Pre-registration is required at all locations. Locations include Chambersburg (Franklin Co), Madisonburg (Centre Co) Bethlehem (Northampton Co), and Dimock (Susquehanna Co)
Fruit growers are constantly manipulating tree canopies to maximize fruit production. This is done in two ways: by pruning to remove limbs or shoots or by bending limbs or shoots in specific orientations.
Tips on people and time management from John Good, Quiet Creek Farm. Delegation, hiring, setting expectations, prioritizing, and efficiencies are critical as you grow your operation.
Beef, sheep, meat-goat and swine producers looking for information on how to make their livestock enterprises more profitable can take advantage of four home-study courses offered by Penn State Extension this winter.
For small scale vegetable growers just getting started, these two hot bed systems are a step up from growing under lights or in your kitchen window without all the costs of heating an entire greenhouse. Hot beds provide enough bottom heat to transplants enhancing germination, stimulating root growth and keeping transplants above freezing on cold nights.
The Penn State Tree Fruit Pathology Program has established a Twitter account to be another tool for folks to receive updates, information, and interesting pictures. Please start following!
Penn State Extension is offering a new series of discussion groups in Spanish for next generation growers made possible by a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant. A group of Hispanic growers are partnering in a production unit and plan to produce cilantro, jalapeño peppers, bell peppers, epazote, onions, tomatillos and lettuce. They expect to sell these items at local Mexican restaurants and stores in the 50 mile radius of their community.
A farm can provide benefits to a community that are not always easy to measure in economic terms. A farm can keep land in agricultural production, be used as a teaching tool or be used to grow food for charity. A for-profit farm may not have the capacity or time to focus on these types of educational or charitable activities.
On the opening day of the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention, the Penn State Extension Young Grower Alliance is hosting a lunch for young growers interested in networking with others pursuing the unique lifestyle involved in farming and horticulture. Featured Speaker Julie Bancroft who is with the Pennsylvania Apple Marketing Board will address Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Marketing Specialty Crops. We will also hear about Kari Peter's recent trip to the fruit region of South Africa and possibilities for a 2016 YGA tour "down under!"
Penn State Extension of Lehigh County is pleased to announce a workshop devoted to helping farmers assess and choose marketing methods. Those interested in direct-to-consumer sales will learn with experts from Pennsylvania and New York. There are many ways to sell your product: farmers’ market, CSA, farm stand, wholesale, direct to institution, online, u-pick, and more. This workshop will help you match the right market mix to your customers, your business goals and your personal skills and resources.
Each farmers market has its own personality. But perhaps we can learn a few things about our prospective customers from recent surveys of farmers market customers.
Are you planning for your fertility for next year? Do you need phosphorus or potassium? Is your organic matter low? Here are some things to think about as you consider amending your soil with compost.
If you are working on your plan for next year and it includes leasing land take a look at this sample lease agreement. This agreement compiled by Land for Good outlines the basics of what should be included in a year to year lease agreement.
Help new farmers succeed!